There are many different types of fostering that foster carers can choose to specialise in. All of them come with different challenges and rewards.
It is important to explore which type of fostering will be most suited to you and your family.
Foster carers are usually trained and approved to look after children for particular lengths of times.
Here are some of the different types of fostering that Affinity Fostering Service provide to social services in Kent and Essex.
Emergency foster carers will need to be prepared to take a child into their home at any time of the day and have them stay for a few days.
This type of fostering is unplanned and used at short notice, for example, if a lone parent is taken into hospital and there is no one to care for their child.
This type of fostering often leads onto Short Term Fostering.
More About Emergency Fostering
This can mean anything from an overnight stay to a period of several months.
Short-term foster carers provide a temporary place to stay until the child can return home to their own family or a longer-term fostering placement or adoption arrangement can be made.
More About Short-Term Fostering
Sometimes children will not be able to go back to live with their own families for a number of years, if at all.
Long-term fostering allows children and young people to stay in a family where they can feel secure, often while maintaining contact with their birth family.
Typically Affinity’s main area of work is in long term fostering.
More About Long-Term Fostering
This term is used specifically in Scotland, and refers to a placement of any length secured by a permanence order.
A permanence order removes the child from the children’s hearing system and can last until the child reaches the age of 18.
It transfers the parental right to have the child living with the parent and to control where the child lives to the local authority.
Respite carers might have a child to stay for anything from a few hours each week to a couple of weekends each month, giving their own family or full-time foster carers a break.
Parent and Baby Fostering
Parent and Child Foster Carers support and advise the parent(s) who are placed with them in how to care for their baby.
The purpose of these type of placements is to try and keep families together by giving the parent an opportunity to learn how to safely care for their babies.
The aim is to return the families to their own homes with support where possible. To become a Parent and Child Foster Carer additional training is given to enable them to assess the parenting capabilities of the Parents.